Are you planning a big move soon? Afraid of falling from one of the many moving company scams that are out there?
If you’re thinking about hiring movers for a hassle-free move, you need to proceed with caution. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moving scams out there, and if you’re not careful, you may just find yourself falling for one.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you protect yourself. Below is our simple guide to avoiding moving company scams and hiring the best movers for your needs.
1. Get a Recommendation
One of the best things you can do to avoid moving scams is to ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. You may also want to speak with your real estate agent to see if they know any reputable moving companies that you’ll want to hire.
If someone you know has had a great experience with a house moving service, then you may want to hire them. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. By hiring a company that your friends or family have already worked with, you’ll know that they’re the real deal and that you’re unlikely to be scammed by them.
2. Do Your Research
When you’re trying to find a moving company to use, it’s important that you do your research. You should evaluate any movers that you’re thinking about hiring thoroughly, so be sure to research the company online and see what you can find out about them. Look at the mover’s website first, but also check to see if there is any other information you can find as well.
Sites such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp feature online reviews of many local moving companies. If the company you’re considering has great reviews on ratings on these sites, then it could be a good indication that they’re legitimate and worth hiring.
3. Look For Professional Qualifications
In addition to researching a moving company online, you should also do some digging to find out exactly what the moving company has to offer. You should ensure that the moving company is licensed and bonded and you should verify that the company has insurance. You’ll also want to find out how long the company has been in business in your area.
In addition to checking online reviews, you may want to ask the company if they can provide references as well. Then, make sure you follow up on these references and speak with them to find out what their experiences with the company have been.
4. Verify Their Legitimacy
When searching for reputable movers, there are some professional organizations that you can check with to verify their legitimacy.
It’s a great idea to check with the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) to see if the mover is on the list of ProMover certified movers. These movers will have passed a background check and will have agreed to operate under the AMSA’s code of ethics, so checking this list can help you determine if the business is reputable or not.
Additionally, you can also look for information about a mover on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. On the BBB, you may be able to find more information about the business and whether there are any complaints against them.
5. Sign a Contract
Once you have chosen a moving company to hire, you’ll want to make sure you get everything in writing. You should create a contract with the moving company to protect yourself and to ensure that you won’t get taken advantage of.
Signing a contract can help protect you legally in case something goes wrong and will clearly outline the responsibilities that you and the moving company have. If a moving company is unwilling to sign a contract, then it may not be a professional company.
6. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities
One of the signs that a moving company is trustworthy is whether they try to educate you on your rights and responsibilities or not. A moving company is required by law to provide customers with information about their rights and responsibilities in regards to hiring them, and if they don’t do this, they may not be legitimate.
Be sure that any moving company your hire provides you with the “Your Right and Responsibilities When You Move” brochure by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when you hire them. While there are other things that you should look for in a great mover, not providing you with clear information about your rights can be a clear sign that they aren’t a reputable company.
7. Watch Out For Large Deposits
Most moving companies will require a small deposit when moving. However, you need to steer clear of a company that requests a very large deposit amount. If a company asks for a large deposit you may be dealing with scammers and you likely won’t be getting the services you’re paying for.
A moving deposit usually won’t be more than several hundred dollars so be wary if they ask for much more than that. As a general rule, you should never pay a deposit that is more than about 20% of the cost of the move.
Avoiding Moving Company Scams With These Tips
If you’re thinking about hiring movers, make sure that you take the above guide into consideration. While there are a lot of moving company scams out there, they aren’t too difficult to avoid as long as you follow the steps above and evaluate a moving company thoroughly before hiring them.
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